Rahm Emanuel has jumped right into the Chicago mayoral race, taking off like a rocket launching his “Listening Tours” and mounting his “Tell It Like It Is” campaign over the weekend.
The wheels of his political wagon have begun turning as Emanuel heads down the campaign trail for a marathon ride of sorts, attempting to arrive at City Hall as the next town mayor. However, he may have hit a bump in the road at the beginning of his ride as the Sun-Times reports that two of Chicago’s top election attorneys indicate the mayoral hopeful had to reside in town one year before the election.
Surely Emanuel must have known before his Washington departure and announcement to run for Daley’s seat this would be a bone of contention. Ironically, President Obama would have no residency issues should he decide to run for mayor. He has a home on the South Side which he visits from time to time, actually sleeping there cause he didn’t rent it out like Emanuel.
It has been 18 months since the former Chief of Staff has resided in his North Side home that by the way, is occupied. One of Emanuel’s first challenges he faced upon returning to Chitown was his tenants refusal to vacate the premises. So far, they are not budging. They are not letting Emanuel move in. Not even in the basement. Furthermore, according to the Sun-Times, attorney Burt Odelson says “…they’re pissed.” Oh, my! Well, they just signed another one year lease in September. Ugh!
Attorney Jim Nally stated that as a congressman, Emanuel had no problems with residency issues; his wife and kids stayed behind to occupy their Chicago home. Rahm lived in Washington during the week, but flew home on weekends. Only military duty excuses someone from having to physically occupy a home to claim residency when they are away from the city. Rahm doesn’t fit that description.
Others, including a spokesperson from the Board of Elections, don’t perceive Emanuel’s residency as a problem, doubting that it should even be questioned. He has maintained ownership of the home, voted absentee, and has not registered to vote anywhere else that they are aware of.
“If you are a registered voter and continue to vote from your residence, you establish what we consider the intent to be a resident of the city of Chicago,” Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal said.
File as they may, it could all be a mute point in the end with Rahm coming out on top. The whole rigmarole hasn’t put a halt to his campaign run. He started out bright and early this Monday morning at 7:30am embracing Chicago citizens in the South Loop, shaking hands and getting heckled, all par for the course, of course. You can expect to see him around town, popping up in various locations to get an earful of “Chicago chit chat” while petting dogs and kissing babies. Sounds like fun!
For more info on Rahm’s campaign, sign up for emails, or view video, go to his official website here.